It is with great
regret and sorrow that we must inform you of the death of our Classmate, Warren
Watson, on May 22, 2013 at the Golden Oaks Nursing Center in Enid, OK, after a
courageous battle with Parkinson's disease and Multiple System Atrophy.
Warren is survived by
five daughters -- Kim (John) Benson, Pam (Ron) Campbell, Sally (Kent) Cotarelo,
Becky (Ross) Angell, and Cindy Scamardo -- and 13 grandchildren -- Jeremy,
Jesse, and Julia Benson; Seth Campbell; Zach, Gabi, and Chase Cotarelo; Nathan,
Kyle, and Leah Angell; and Dylan, Justin, and Ryan Scamardo.
Warren was buried at a
graveside service with military honors on May 28, 2013 at the IOOF Cemetery in
Norman, OK, next to his parents and brother.
Condolences may be
sent to Sally Cotarelo, 4005 Harpers Ferry, Enid, OK 73703.
Donations in Warren's
memory may be made to the West Point Association of Graduates, 698 Mills Road,
West Point, NY 10996.
Warren. Be thou at peace.
Class Memorial Pages\L-2 Warren Watson.pdf
for Warren Watson Jr.
Warren Kenneth Watson Jr , 74, of Enid, OK, will be Tuesday, May 28, 2013, 12
Noon at the IOOF Cemetery in Norman, OK with Mr. Kent Cotarelo officiating.
Cremation was under the direction of Ladusau-Evans Funeral Home.
Warren was born February 21, 1939 in Lansing Michigan and died May 22, 2013 in
Enid, OK. He received a Master’s degree in electrical engineering from the
University of Florida and also a Master’s degree in Operations Research from
Florida Tech. Warren was a graduate of West Point Military Academy before he
entered the military. He was a veteran of the United States Air Force serving as
a pilot during the Vietnam Conflict. He served his country for 23 years and
retired as a Major He was employed by Harris Corporation as an electrical
engineer after his retirement from the Air Force. He was an active member of
Toastmasters and The Lion’s Club. Warren was an avid sports fan.
Survivors include five daughters and thirteen grandchildren
Taps Memorial Article:
Warren K. Watson Jr. 1961
Cullum No. 23512-1961 | May
22, 2013 | Died in
Cremated. Interred in IOOF Memory Gardens Cemetery, Norman, OK
Warren Kenneth Watson Jr. was born in Lansing, MI on February 21, 1939 to
Warren K. Sr. and Verle Blanche Watson. His father was an Air Force pilot who
retired as a lieutenant colonel. Warren’s destiny to serve his country and his
inclination to aviation were cast at an early age. He was the oldest of three
sons. Youngest brother Gordon was an Army helicopter pilot, retiring as a
captain, and middle brother Larry served in the Marine Corps.
Following graduation from high school Warren was
appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point as a member of
the Class of 1961. He took the structure of discipline and challenge of
demanding academic programs in stride, and the environment fortified his
desire for a military career. While at the Academy Warren played basketball
and various intra-squad sports and never passed an opportunity to satisfy his
sweet tooth at “Boodles,” a campus snack bar of repute. He handily mastered
math and the physical sciences but struggled a bit with the social sciences.
Overall, he coped well with the demanding curriculum and graduated in the top
half of his class in June 1961.
After graduation Warren was sworn into the United States
Air Force. He attended flight school at Vance AFB in Enid, OK from 1961 to
1962 and advanced training in KC-135s, a refueling aircraft, in 1963. His
first assignment was to the 917th Air Refueling Squadron, Dyess AFB, TX, where
he flew KC-135 Stratotankers. Missions included refueling B-52 Strategic Air
Command bombing missions over Vietnam and airborne alerts. He was with the
917th from 1963 to 1967.
Warren was assigned to the 21st Tactical Air Support
Squadron at Bien Hoa, Republic of Vietnam in late 1967. He flew O-1E’s as a
forward air controller (FAC) performing air reconnaissance of enemy positions
and directing tactical airstrikes against enemy ground targets. The missions
supported sector operations of the Republic of Korea Capital Division and
units of the 101st Airborne Division. The O-1E was an unarmed, low speed
aircraft required to fly at low altitudes to accomplish its FAC mission. These
conditions made the aircraft extremely vulnerable to enemy ground fire. Warren
was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and 17 Air Medals for extraordinary
achievement participating in aerial flight in a hostile environment during
In early 1969 Warren was assigned to the 915th Air
Refueling Squadron at Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico, flying KC-135s. While in Puerto
Rico he attended Inter American University and received an MBA in operations
research in 1971. He served in the 12th Civil Engineering Squadron at Randolph
AFB in San Antonio, TX from 1971 to 1973 and earned a master’s degree in
electrical engineering at the University of Florida in 1974. Warren was
assigned to the 381st Civil Engineering Squadron at McConnell AFB in Wichita,
KS from 1974 to 1977. In late 1977 he was transferred to the Oklahoma City Air
Logistics Center as program manager for the TF33 Engine Program until 1979. He
completed his career with the 5th Bomb Wing in Minot, ND, where he retired as
a major in 1982.
After retirement Warren was employed by Harris
Corporation in Melbourne, FL. He was able to apply his EE master’s credentials
as an electrical engineer. He was an active member of Toastmasters and the
Lion’s Club. His business career was regrettably cut short in the late 1980s
when the debilitating effects of Parkinson’s disease took their toll.
Warren married Dolores Pearce on September 28, 1962. They
had five daughters who bore 13 grandchildren. While West Point and an Air
Force career fulfilled Warren’s lifelong dreams of patriotic service, the
apples of his eye in private life were his daughters and their grandchildren.
They provided the outlet for his loving and caring side and his quixotic sense
of humor. One daughter recalled that dad took her to a “cool” Tower Restaurant
to celebrate her 10th birthday. Another remembered her dad helping with Girl
Scout cookie sales and was the only dad counselor at camp that year.
Warren was remembered as being “thrifty.” He once
boycotted the officers’ club pool because of a pool patch price increase. Dad
bought a boat to take the kids swimming in a nearby lake in retaliation. Mom
later admitted she paid the fees so the girls could use the pool during the
week. The girls recall that dad was a firm disciplinarian. One daughter
remembered a proper spanking for an unauthorized tree climb and being carried
like a sack of potatoes into the house. Warren frequently “drafted” his
daughters to be human remote controls to help keep track of multiple sports
events he was watching on two TVs. The girls also remember that their dad was
an avid music lover whose large Elvis record collection was transferred to
tape for posterity and later listening pleasure. The daughters all recall that
their dad was a complete patriot who loved his country and was proud to serve
The twilight of Warren’s life was punctuated with a game
battle with Parkinson’s disease and multiple system atrophy. Warren faced
these challenges with the same grit and determination that defined the rest of
his life. He was determined to live the rest of his life to its fullest
potential. When his fluency was affected, he took speech therapy so he could
be better understood. Warren attended West Point class reunions to renew old
acquaintances and to watch the Army team play in the alumni football game. One
classmate recalled that, although his fluency was challenged, he could still
recite the Army team’s depth chart and individual statistics. Those were
perhaps his fondest final memories. Godspeed Warren!